Title: A Lady in Disguise (Daughters of Hampshire #3)
Author: Sandra Byrd
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Lord Thomas Lockwood has been out riding and noticed the neglected home of his neighbor, Lord Palmer. After Lord Palmer’s death, his widow couldn’t keep up with the repairs. Now that his widow has died, the home is to be inherited by his granddaughter, a seamstress in London. Thomas makes note of repairs at the granddaughter’s request and begins a friendship with her due to their mutual love of the theatre. Even though they are from two completely different social classes, a romance begins.
Gillian Young is mourning the untimely death of her father in a cart accident. He was a well-respected police officer so Gillian thought until no one shows up at his funeral. Come to find out, her father is suspected of participating in money laundering, prostitution with young girls and other crimes. Gillian just can’t believe her beloved father is guilty, so she begins her own investigation. She meets with immediate roadblocks and interference from her police force. She is advised to just let the matter drop. He always kept meticulous files on the cases he worked, so where is the file for his last case? His former partner can’t find it nor can anyone else? Gillian knows the file will contain the answers she seeks, but the more she investigates, the more threats that arrive. Can Thomas be trusted? She knows he is interested in her family home in Hampshire, so he is just pretending to like her in order to gain her land and her family home? Is there anyone on the police force she can trust?
This novel combines two of my favorite genres, British mystery and historical British romance. I really enjoyed the mystery presented by the death of Gillian’s father and I thought the author did an excellent job of depicting how helpless a woman alone in that day could be, especially against the rotten eggs in the police force. I also really liked Gillian’s care for the theater waifs. She was taught from an early age by her mother to care for the poor, which was a great example to set. Gillian’s willingness to forgive was also an excellent example of displaying Christ’s mercy. My only negative is that there was too much time spent on the sewing aspect of the story, which slowed it down in some places. I still would recommend this book as it will certainly entertain.